A new hydraulic forging press has been inaugurated at Areva's Creusot Forge manufacturing site in Burgundy by French prime minister Manuel Valls. It replaces an old press for nuclear forgings at the plant.
|The new press and manipulator at Creusot Forge (Image: Areva)
The 9000-tonne press, coupled with a 200-tonne manipulator, allows for the forging of steel, alloy and superalloy ingots weighing between 15 and 260 tonnes. The new equipment, commissioned earlier this year, incorporates state-of-the-art technology, including automated forging sequences, laser measurement and automatic tool changing and replaces a 60-year-old press at the site.
Areva CEO Luc Oursel said that the inauguration of the new press at Creusot illustrates "Areva's commitment for the future of this site and the French nuclear industry, and confidence in the future." He added, "This commitment to prepare for the future is our responsibility as a public enterprise. Our mission is firstly to support EDF in producing competitive and safe nuclear energy, but also to conquer export markets."
Valls, who attended the inauguration ceremony, was quoted by Les Echos as saying, "This highly competitive industry retains a prominent place, unique in the world, in our energy mix and is a pride and a pillar of our economy. The state will always be there to support and encourage it in its plans to export." His comment came just days after the government announced draft energy policy that would limit the share of nuclear energy to no more than half of France's electricity output.
Areva's Creusot Forge and Creusot Mécanique subsidiaries are specialized in the supply of big forgings and castings destined mainly for the nuclear industry. Creusot Forge is one of a few facilities that can produce the heavy nuclear-grade forgings required for large components such as steam generators, reactor pressure vessels and primary pumps. Creusot Mécanique, meanwhile, carries out precision finish machining on large components.
Researched and written
by World Nuclear News